Nigel is a local who is born in Ipoh and spent a small part of his childhood in the city of Ipoh.
Ipoh is a city located in the state of Perak in Malaysia, it is the hometown of mine and a place filled with really good food and rich Malaysian history. Besides being my hometown, Ipoh is home to many non-official food critics, almost all of us have a sixth sense when it comes to local Ipoh food and we're particular about how our food taste.
Ipoh is known for their two major Chinese dialect groups, mainly the Cantonese and Hakka communities, Cantonese and Hakka are dialect groups within the Chinese community with different style of cuisines among these dialect groups, for instance, the Cantonese love their cuisine with lots of gravy, while the Hakka uses some spices in their foods.
The Cantonese and Hakka communities are famous for their noodles, for instance, the Hakka noodle, Shredded Chicken Flat Rice Noodle and many more, which you can find out right below!
Location Of Ipoh in Malaysia
Get to know a little more about Ipoh from this video!
Most of you might recognize Penang, Malaysia as a street food haven, in that case, Ipoh should be known as the "noodle haven".
Although there are many famous foods in Ipoh, Malaysia, i will be covering the types of noodle dishes that are available in Ipoh.
As a native of Ipoh boy, lets go through the noodle dishes loved by the locals of Ipoh in this article, lets go!
"There is no sincerer love than the love of food"
— George Bernard Shaw
1. Kai Si Hor Fun (Shredded Chicken Flat Rice Noodles)
Simple and hearty soup noodles
Locals say, this is the staple noodle dish of Ipoh and this is the go-to comfort food for anytime of the day when you're in Ipoh. The dish's name is in Cantonese for Shredded Chicken Flat Rice Noodles.
The broth of the dish is made out of prawn heads, where the heads are boiled for a few hours to extract the essence of the prawns, giving the broth a trip to flavor town!
Noodles are then blanched before serving in a bowl with shredded chicken, prawns, chives and then the broth goes in.
In some places, fried onion and its oil is added into the bowl of noodles to enhance the flavor, it is indeed a simple bowl of noodles made with lots of love.
2. Hakka Noodles
Al Dente paradise
Hakka noodles is something similar to your usual Wonton noodles or egg noodles, it is usually made freshly right before the day starts.
Considering the noodles are usually handmade, the noodles are always al dente when it is cooked by the master-chef themselves.
The dish is commonly served during breakfast, however, it can be served throughout the day. There are two ways to serve this dish, the most common way is to serve it on its own or to pair it with some stuffed tofu and fish balls.
A normal serving of Hakka Noodles is with a dollop of minced pork in black bean sauce with some oil and seasoning, that's the basic way to serve it.
Stuffed tofu or Yong Tau Foo is usually served on the side as an accompaniment to the noodles.
3. Wet and Dry Curry Noodles
Spice meets noodles
Well, we have come to the point where spice gets involved, it is a common occurrence to involve spice into most of our dishes, in this case, we add curry to our noodles.
Curry noodles is a Malaysian staple as a dish, it is the mixture of a Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines, with curry being Malay and Indian influence.
Ipoh style curry noodles have a slightly different flavor compared to the other state's versions. Ipoh style is slightly sour with the addition of lime and mint leaves and it is commonly served with Crispy Roast Pork or Barbecued Pork (Char Siew).
Locals of Ipoh love two types of Curry Noodles, the dry version, which is saucier and the soupy version, which is wetter.
4. Wat Tan Hor (Wet Eggy Noodles)
Eggy Gravy Noodles For The Soul
This is another comfort food dish which has Cantonese influence to it, it is a noodle dish made with thick eggy gravy, veggies and usually chicken or pork slices.
Flat Rice Noodles or Koay Teow (Yes, Koay is my surname) is stir-fried in dark soy sauce and then the gravy is done in a separate wok.
The gravy consists of the meat of your choice, vegetables, seasonings, eggs and finished with a slurry mixture of cornstarch and water.
Lastly, it is drenched over the top of the Flat Rice Noodles for which, it will create the Wat Tan Hor (Wet Eggy Noodles).
5) Pork Noodles
Another Simple But Hearty Dish
This is a pretty simple dish and it is an affordable dish, made using just pork, pork broth, the noodle of you choice and some veggies.
In the bowl of noodles, you have minced pork meat, sliced pork meat, pork innards (you can opt out if you don't want it), some vegetables and the noodle of your choice.
The dish is topped off with the broth created from pork bones and the essence of pork extracted during the cooking process.
Most locals would add an egg into the bowl of noodles and have the dish with another type of rice noodle called Lo Shi Fun also known as Silver needle noodles.
An example of a Silver Needle Noodle
6) Hor Hee (Fishball Noodles)
The Breakfast & Supper Staple!
Finally, we come to the staple for breakfast and supper/late night food dish according to the locals and myself, the fish ball noodles called Hor Hee in Cantonese.
This dish is commonly made with homemade fish balls, fried fish cakes, shredded chicken, noodle of your choice and a clear broth.
The broth is usually made out of fish bones and chicken bones which gives a clear but flavorful broth to go with the noodle.
© 2020 Nigel Koay